|TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images|
Japanese media reports indicate that an engagement announcement is expected soon from the imperial palace. Princess Mako of Akishino, the eldest granddaughter of the Emperor and Empress, is reportedly engaged to Kei Komuro. But while royal engagements usually start conversations about jewel appearances to come, this announcement would mean that royal jewels will be left behind.
|NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images|
According to various Japanese press sources, Princess Mako and her beau met while studying at the same university in Tokyo. Both are 25 years old, and they’ve apparently been dating for about five years. Princess Mako currently works as a researcher at a Tokyo museum. She also occasionally represents the imperial family both at home and abroad; above, she is pictured on an official trip to Paraguay in 2016, and below, during an official visit to Honduras in 2015.
|ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images|
Reports suggest that the Imperial Household Agency, which oversees virtually all aspects of the Japanese imperial family’s lives and activities, will announce the engagement soon, with a wedding expected next year. When she marries, Princess Mako will become a commoner, losing her title, her place in the imperial family, and any funds granted to her by the state. Her jewels will also head back to the palace vaults, perhaps to appear later on another imperial princess. The most recent member of the imperial family to lose her royal status because of her marriage was Princess Mako’s cousin, Princess Noriko of Takamado, who married Kunimaro Senge in 2014.